The Fish Health Unit of the Marine Institute is the Irish National Reference Laboratory for finfish, mollusc and crustacean diseases and the Competent Authority for the implementation of aquatic animal health legislation. We carry out aquatic animal health monitoring under EU and national legislation and support the aquaculture industry and the inland fisheries sector in maintaining Ireland’s superior fish and shellfish health status. The FHU laboratories are INAB accredited to ISO 17025 standards.
New Fish Health Regulations
EU Directive 2006/88/EC was implemented in Ireland on 1st August 2008 through the European Communities (Health of Aquaculture Animals and Products) Regulations 2008 (SI 261 of 2008).
The Directive requires all aquaculture production businesses (including farms, depuration units and dispatch centres) to be authorised. It builds on the successful elements of the existing aquatic animal health regime and introduces new measures to reflect developments in the sector. The main aim of the Directive is to raise standards of aquaculture health throughout the EU and to control the spread of disease while maintaining the freedom to trade.
This Directive replaces previous legislation established by Directives 91/67/EEC and 93/53/EC in relation to finfish health and Directive 95/70/EC in relation to shellfish health. The new Directive governs health monitoring of finfish, shellfish and crustaceans. It provides a comprehensive risk-based approach to disease surveillance and puts in place controls on the movement of potential vector and susceptible species. It also provides a structure for declaring the health status of Member States and areas within them.
A list of possible vector species and the conditions under which those species shall be considered vectors is laid out in Annex I of Commission Regulation 1251/2008/EC
Fish Health Authorisation
If you operate an aquaculture production business, you must now obtain fish health authorisation from the Marine Institute.
To apply for authorisation, you must complete an application form and a prepare a Health Management Plan, detailing how you intend to comply with the legislation in relation to record keeping, biosecurity and disease surveillance.
To assist with the preparation of site specific Health Management plans, a guidance document has been prepared which provides a broad framework for such a plans.
We have also prepared sample management plans to give specific assistance to those growing oysters, mussels and fin-fish.
Sample Shellfish Health Management Plan - Bottom Mussels (Word, 120 KB)
Sample Shellfish Health Management Plan - Rope Mussels(Word,109 KB)
Sample Shellfish Health Management Plan - C.Gigas (Word, 109 KB)
Sample Finfish Health Management Plan (Word, 98 KB)
Put & Take Fish Health Management Plan (Word, 324 KB)
Authorisations granted under the new legislation are separate to an aquaculture licence but run concurrently with it. A Fish Health Authorisation only deals with issues relating to animal health, while licenses will continue to regulate all other aspects of the aquaculture operation. Where any conflict arises between fish health aspects of current licences and the Fish Health Authorisation, the authorisation will take precedence.
For more information or advice on completing your application please call Ayesha Power on 091 387 200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Diagnosing Aquatic Disease
The Fish Health Unit provides diagnostic support for producers, veterinarians and is also involved in research collaborations with both national and international third level and research institutes.